Cubic Kilometer

When I try to picture huge or tiny numbers, I like to break it down into something else that I can understand a little better just so that I have some idea of what's going on in this lesson we read a paper by this group of scientists. And they estimated that between the 1950s in the 1990s, Alaskan glaciers lost an average volume of around 50 cubic kilometers of water every year. And then between the 1990s in the early 2000s, those same glaciers lost closer to 100 cubic kilometers per. Year of water, do you have any idea how much water is in a cubic kilometer much less several cubic kilometers, let's do a little calculation to try to put that into perspective. What if I took one cubic kilometer of water and I wanted to apportion that water out for the entire world?

So that every single person in the world would get some of that cubic kilometer how much water would everybody get? Well, we can do that calculation. If I have one cubic kilometer that is a box there's, a thousand meters on. The side right so that equals 1,000 times 1000 times 1,000 meters that is a billion meters cubic meters and I also know that in one cubic meter there are a thousand liters. So if we have a billion cubic meters and there's a thousand liters in each cubic meter, that means we have ten to the twelfth liters of water in a cubic kilometer.

Now is a good time for me to give a shout-out to my 12th grade. Government teacher from Blacksburg, High, School, Karen Boston, who explained to our class that she thought. That one of the reasons Jimmy Carter did not get elected to a second term is because he tried to convert this country to the metric system, and we all know how well that worked not very well. So I don't think most people can actually even picture. What a leader probably is, but all of us, non-scientists milk, drinking Americans, probably know what a gallon looks like it looks like this and there's about four liters in every gallon.

Okay. So if I have ten to the twelfth liters and I divide that by 4 to. Get gallons then that's about 0.25 times 10 to the twelfth gallons. And as of late 2012, there were about seven billion people in the world.

So we just have to divide this number by 7 billion, and we'll figure out how many gallons of water everybody's going to get. And that number is this. We can write this in a much more normal way by just moving this decimal, three places over to take care of this exponent. And what we find out is if each person in the world gets about 36 gallons of water, if we had one. Cubic kilometer of water.

And we apportion that up over everybody, remember in this paper we're, not talking about one cubic kilometer of water we're talking about between 50 and 100 cubic kilometers of water every year that is a lot of water. My friends.


Dated : 09-May-2022

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